CHARLES HARTLEY, Attorney at Law

Practicing law in California since the 20th century  
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These are the notes for an article entitled 'Overview of California Coastal Access Law', originally published online at Beachlaw.info.

1Mr. Hartley has been a member of the California Bar since 1999 and moderator/webmaster of beachlaw.info since 2003. A California native, he is a 1999 graduate of the University of Idaho College of Law, and received his B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1986 with a double major in Political Science and Geography.

2Webster’s New World Dictionary, Second College Edition, 121 (2nd ed. 1980)

3The Columbia Encyclopedia, “beach”(Sixth ed. 2001)

4Los Angeles Times, “A Malibu Civics Lesson, Beach Is Open”(August 25, 2003)

5Nollan v. California Coastal Comm’n (1987) 483 U.S. 825, 829.

6Carstens v. California Coastal Comm. (1986) 182 Cal.App.3d 277, 288. See also Witken: California Law, Real Property, section 7

7California Constitution, Article X, section 4. See also Carstens v. California Coastal Comm. (1986) 182 Cal.App.3d 277.

8Quoting the opinion in Carstens v. California Coastal Comm. (1986) 182 Cal.App.3d 277, 284, not Carstens directly.

9Carstens v. California Coastal Comm. (1986) 182 Cal.App.3d 277, 288.

10Carstens v. California Coastal Comm. (1986) 182 Cal.App.3d 277, 289. Citations omitted.

11San Francisco v. Scott (1854) 4 Cal. 114, 116.

12County of Los Angeles v. Berk (1980) 26 Cal.3d 201, 213.

13Gion v. City of Santa Cruz (1970) 2 Cal.3d 29.

14In 2004 this is located immediately west of Lighthouse State Beach, and would be considered prime real estate.

15Gion v. City of Santa Cruz (1970) 2 Cal.3d 29, 34.

16Gion v. City of Santa Cruz (1970) 2 Cal.3d 29, 35.

17Gion v. City of Santa Cruz (1970) 2 Cal.3d 29, 35.

18Gion v. City of Santa Cruz (1970) 2 Cal.3d 29, 38.

19Gion v. City of Santa Cruz (1970) 2 Cal.3d 29, 43.

20County of Los Angeles v. Berk (1980) 26 Cal.3d 201, 217.

21County of Los Angeles v. Berk (1980) 26 Cal.3d 201, 216.

22Cal. Civ.Code � 1009(a)(2).

23Cal. Civ.Code � 1009(a)(1).

24Cal. Civ.Code � 813.

25Cal. Civ.Code � 1008.

26Cal. Civ.Code � 1009(f)(1).

27Cal. Civ.Code � 1009(g).

28Cal. Pub. Res. Code � 30000 et seq.

29Defined at Cal. Pub. Res. Code � 30106 as �on land, in or under water, the placement or erection of any solid material or structure; discharge or disposal of any dredged material or of any gaseous, liquid, solid, or thermal waste; grading, removing, dredging, mining, or extraction of any materials; change in the density or intensity of use of land, including, but not limited to, subdivision pursuant to the Subdivision Map Act (commencing with Section 66410 of the Government Code), and any other division of land, including lot splits, except where the land division is brought about in connection with the purchase of such land by a public agency for public recreational use; change in the intensity of use of water, or of access thereto; construction, reconstruction, demolition, or alteration of the size of any structure, including any facility of any private, public, or municipal utility; and the removal or harvesting of major vegetation other than for agricultural purposes, kelp harvesting, and timber operations which are in accordance with a timber harvesting plan submitted pursuant to the provisions of the Z'berg-Nejedly Forest Practice Act of 1973 (commencing with Section 4511). As used in this section, "structure" includes, but is not limited to, any building, road, pipe, flume, conduit, siphon, aqueduct, telephone line, and electrical power transmission and distribution line.

30Defined at Cal. Pub. Res. Code � 30103. (a) as �that land and water area of the State of California from the Oregon border to the border of the Republic of Mexico, ... extending seaward to the state's outer limit of jurisdiction, including all offshore islands, and extending inland generally 1,000 yards from the mean high tide line of the sea. In significant coastal estuarine, habitat, and recreational areas it extends inland to the first major ridgeline paralleling the sea or five miles from the mean high tide line of the sea, whichever is less, and in developed urban areas the zone generally extends inland less than 1,000 yards. The coastal zone does not include the area of jurisdiction of the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, established pursuant to Title 7.2 (commencing with Section 66600) of the Government Code, nor any area contiguous thereto, including any river, stream, tributary, creek, or flood control or drainage channel flowing into such area.�

31See Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council (1991) 505 US 1003, a case based on South Carolina�s coastal access laws.

32Nollan v. California Coastal Comm�n (1987) 483 U.S. 825.

33Leased with an option to purchase, and eventually purchased.

34Nollan v. California Coastal Comm�n (1987) 483 U.S. 825, 828.

35Carstens v. California Coastal Comm. (1986) 182 Cal.App.3d 277, 288.Nollan v. California Coastal Comm�n (1987) 483 U.S. 825, 838-9.

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